Monday, December 30, 2013


Ok, so I didn't write a blog post every day this year like I said in my New Year's Resolution. But I was pretty darn close! I hope you've enjoyed reading some of my stories/tales/advice columns this year. Let's see what happened:

1. Friends/Boys/Family. Of course the people around me are the most important part of my life. I have continued having an amazing time with my sorority sisters, I've made many new friends here in DC, and I hope to make many more in 2014. I love my family very much, and I know many of my posts mention how much I appreciate them and all they have done for me. And though I may not have named names, I discreetly wrote about the boys in my life for 2013. There were good ones and bad ones; that's life. I had the guy who I was half-way in love with tell me he was back with his ex. I had the really nice, good kisser guy who turned out to be gay. There was the cute tennis player who ended up being the biggest jerk ever. And I found an amazing man to ring in the New Year with.

2. Comments. Though the comments on my blog were few and far between (and most of them were from my mother...), I did get into a Twitter war about my Ballets with a Twist post. It got over 200 views! Like they say in Hollywood: "Any press is good press." I'm just psyched that people read my blog, whether they liked it or not!

3. Events/Shows. I have no idea how much money I spent on tickets for concerts/ballets/plays/other performances, but I have been leading a very cosmopolitan life here in DC! All of these cultural activities are one of the many perks to living near a city, and I will continue to take advantage of that! Some of my favorite venues in the area include: the 9:30 Club, the Kennedy Center, the Fillmore, and the Strathmore.

4. Quotes. I have been inspired by so many words this year, from songs to random quotes I found on the internet. I hope the ones I have shared with you have motivated you in the same way, and that they reached you like they touched me.

5. I know how to fix a toilet. This is a huge lifetime achievement.

6. Fashion/Food/Movies/Exercise/Social Etiquette. I wrote a lot about these. These were usually the days I wasn't sure what else to write about...But this blog was for me to write about whatever I wanted, so there you go.

For 2014, I will continue to write blog posts, but only if I actually have something exciting to write about. No more posts about how I like my cereal in the morning or random things like that! But if I see a cultural performance or travel somewhere cool, I will write about it. So I won't be posting regularly, but you may see something from me pop up every once in a while.

Thank you again for reading! A public blog is no good unless people actually look at it!

Friday, December 27, 2013

LASIK eye surgery

So, I had LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) eye surgery last week, and the results are AMAZING! I cannot say enough good things about this procedure. I just keep thinking, "How come everyone doesn't do this?!" Ok, I realize it can be cost-prohibitive, but if you have the money, and you've been considering it, DO IT! Here's why:

1. Glasses and contacts are just one more thing to think about in your busy life. Wouldn't it be nice to just wake up and be able to see 20/20 (or better)?

2. There's no pain involved with this surgery. Most people assume it'll hurt, but it doesn't! During the surgery they give you numbing drops so you don't feel a thing. And during your recovery time afterwards, the worst thing you'll feel is some dryness. I can't think of any other surgery that is that painless!

3. The surgery is fast! It literally takes fewer than 5 minutes for the entire procedure. It just blows my mind that we have technology that can do that. Great vision in 5 minutes! How cool is that?

4. The health regimen afterwards is very easy. You just have to put in some eye drops several times a day for a week (including artificial tears for that dryness I was talking about), don't rub your eyes, and wear sunglasses outside for a month. Simple, right?

I was not nervous about my surgery at all (my mom got it done over 10 years ago, so I figured the technology must be even better nowadays), and you shouldn't be nervous either! Push aside those fears and go for it! You will not regret it!  

*I went to Dr. Anthony Kameen for my surgery. Check out his website here.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas movie #7: The Santa Clause

Another classic favorite of mine. Tim Allen plays the busy, businessman dad Scott Calvin who doesn't have enough time for his son (). On Christmas Eve night, Santa falls off of Scott's roof, Scott puts on the Santa suit, and voilà, he is now the new Santa Claus. Although he can't believe it at first, he sees that the whole experience brings him closer to his son, and in the end, he truly loves being Santa Claus.

This movie is so funny, especially the jokes that children may not understand, but their parents would (i.e. any jokes made about the step-father psychiatrist played by ). You can't help but giggle throughout the whole film. There are sequels to this movie, but the original is by far the best!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013

I LOVE the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. It's so much fun, with the musical guests, the great costumes, and of course the beautiful models! I'm a tough critic, but here are my thoughts from this year's runway show.

1. Themes. The show is segmented into several themes with miniature "collections" for each. I loved the finale with the "Snow Angels" theme, and the "British Invasion" and "Parisian Nights" were pretty classy, too. I never like the PINK collection (it's so childish, yet it's lingerie...creepy!), and the "Shipwrecked" theme looked like the costumes for the Pirates porno movie. That's trashy, not sexy.

Snow Angels: What's not to love about cute, sexy snowflakes come to life?

British Invasion: Love the tailoring of this mini-collection. Very sassy!

Parisian Nights: These just scream sex appeal. Plus, that Eiffel Tower on Barbara's head is adorable!

PINK: The emoticons and balloons are just awful... These models look like characters from Candy Land, not models for the most famous lingerie company in the world (next to La Perla).

Shipwrecked: The colors are just so dull, and the models look like they're wrapped in funky sheets. 

 2. Wings. Ever since Victoria's Secret came up with the idea of their models as "Angels," wings have been part of the annual fashion show. Here are some of my favorites (clearly I prefer the "traditional" look of angel wings).

3. Musical acts. I was VERY impressed this year with the musical acts. For one, I'm a huge Taylor Swift fan, so I supposed I'm biased on that front. And with her costumes, she looked like she should be one of the models! And Fall Out Boy (a band I haven't listened to since high school) was great (unlike Panic! at the Disco , who were totally spastic during the Miss Universe pageant).

All in all, a wonderful show. It's SO visually stimulating that you can't help but be mesmerized!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas movie #6: Love Actually

Really, this should have been #1, because it's my favorite Christmas movie. But I wanted to re-watch it before I wrote this post so that I would be super-pumped to tell you all about it! The best part of this movie is the fact that there are so many characters and different story lines. You have:

1. The young British Colin Frissell () who heads off to America to find love (,
2. The broken-hearted author () who falls for the Portuguese maid () even with the language barrier,
3. The 11-year-old boy () who feels "the total agony of love" for the popular girl at school (),
4. The old rock star () who realizes his manager () is the "love of his life," 
5. The handsome British Prime Minister () who loves the voluptuous assistant (),
6. The baggage-ridden Sarah () who's desperately in love with her co-worker hottie Karl (),
7. The story of love lost when 's character loses his wife,
8. The traditional tale of adultery between boss (, also known as Professor Snape) and secretary () with the poor wife () staying strong for the sake of the children,
9. The actor stand-ins and who fall in love while working naked with one another,
10. The love-sick Mark () who obsesses over Juliet () even though she married his best friend Peter (),

...and I think that's all. It's just a sweet story of all different kinds of love, how complicated or simple they are, and how love actually "is all around." So fun, so cute, I can't say enough about this movie!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Last quote from Kona Kase

This is the last month I will receive an orange Kona Kase in the mail (living on a budget takes the fun out of everything!). When I opened up the December box, the monthly quote inside was amazing:

It is better to have lived one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep. - Tibetan Proverb

I absolutely adore this quote. I can't remember when I first felt this particular sentiment, but at least since college, I simply cannot stand meek people (especially women). You have one life to live, and you're going to spend it being soft-spoken (I can't HEAR you! Enunciate!), not sharing your opinions, and simply adhering to social norms, and by the time you're on your deathbed, you have lived an average life of someone following the herd. REALLY?! That's how you want your story to go?!

I don't think so. That is NOT me. I'm not exactly sure how my parents did it, but they raised me to be a confident woman who makes her own decisions. I plan on living most of my days like a tiger. I want to be admired for being smart, strong, beautiful, and everything else this majestic feline is. I never want to be known for being shy, timid, or pathetic. So get it together and ROAR!

*Ok, I'm ashamed I like that Katy Perry song. But it's so catchy!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Questions List

I saw this list from katbaroo (originally from thealwaysbeliever), so I thought I'd answer the questions myself.

Question 1: What is your favorite thing about Christmas?

Presents, of course! Oh, wait, is that where I'm supposed to say, "The time spent with my beloved family" ?

Question 2: When you were a kid, what did you leave for Santa on Christmas Eve?

I think we did cookies, maybe, but not every year...

Question 3: Do you and/or your family have any Christmas traditions?

We watch a lot of Christmas movies (as you can see from other blog posts of mine). We also open our presents on Christmas Eve, which I always thought was a great tradition. On the other hand, we eat coffee cake for breakfast Christmas morning, which takes forever to make, so that is one tradition that I don't love.

Question 4: When decorating do you go all out or just do a small amount of decorating?

In my own apartment, I simply have a tiny fake tree on my window sill (see picture below), which can hold about six ornaments without falling over. I also put out all of the Christmas cards I get from friends. But that's about it. My parents, on the other hand, go crazy with decorations! But they've had more years to collect stuff, so that's not really fair.

Question 5:  What is your favorite Christmas dinner food?

Just like Thanksgiving, the food really isn't that big of a deal. Read my Thanksgiving Rant here.

Question 6: What is your favorite Christmas movie?

How can I just pick one?! I guess I have to go with Love Actually, but honestly, there are SO many!

Question 7: What is your favorite Christmas song?

I LOVE Mariah Carey's version of "All I Want for Christmas is You". Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby" is a close second; she has such a sexy voice!

Question 8: What was your favorite gift you've ever received?

There are so many!  But I'm getting Lasik eye surgery this year, which is a pretty freakin' awesome present, so that has to be it.

Question 9: What is your favorite Christmas memory?

I remember one year my parents got me a Barbie camper/van, and they had set up the van with the picnic table outside of it with one of my Ken dolls hanging out enjoying himself in the "outdoors" under the Christmas tree. I thought that was so fun!

Question 10: Does it snow where you live?

Yes, but we don't usually get a "white Christmas."

Question 11: Do you own an "ugly holiday sweater"?

I just bought a moose sweater from Urban Outfitters, but I think it's cute, not ugly! Granted, I would never wear it with a mustard yellow skirt. Ew.

Question 12: Hot chocolate or eggnog?

I like both, but I can only enjoy eggnog this time of year, so I'll go with that. And I don't mix it with anything (no alcohol, and no milk to dilute it). It's delicious just as it is!

Question 13: Have you ever been kissed under a mistletoe?

Not yet. But I do have one of those headbands with mistletoe hanging from it...I just have never worn it...

There you go! Why not answer the list yourself?

Quote about happiness

“The U.S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.” - Benjamin Franklin 

 I saw this quote on Beliefnet, and I really liked it. While there is always the chance at happiness, you have to make it happen. Sometimes happiness is a blessing simply given to you, like being born into a loving family. But as you get older, you realize that you have to make your own happiness as an adult; it doesn't just show up as easily as it did when you were a kid. I think some people do wait for happiness to just arrive on their doorsteps, and when it doesn't happen, they get depressed or frustrated or angry or any other negative feeling. But if you work at finding happiness, like exploring new hobbies you enjoy or making new friends or landing a great job, it will come.

It definitely took me a long time to realize this, and I think it's because I've been very blessed my whole life. I was always happy growing up (except maybe the year I switched schools, but that's such a blur now anyway). I have a wonderful family, we never want for anything, I was smart (and eventually pretty), I had so many opportunities that other's do not...There was never really a reason to be unhappy. I think the year I graduated from college is really the only time I have been truly unhappy, the darkest point I've ever reached. It was then that I thought, "Oh...This is what depression is." I had friends whose parents had gotten divorced, or who had eating disorders, or other very sad circumstances, and I never really understood how they felt until I myself felt that emptiness. It felt like a void; my happy spirit had gone, and I certainly wondered if I would ever get it back.

I did. I've done a 180 since that point in my life, and I promise, I will NEVER take my happiness for granted again. It's sometimes hard to be thankful for something you've always had, but once you lose it, and if you're lucky enough to get it back, you'll be so grateful for it, and work hard to pursue more of it, and keep it. 

Movie Review: Flight

Image from

I never saw Flight in theaters, but it's on Netflix Watch Instantly, and I love me some Denzel (no last name required). I thought it was really good! One of my co-workers made it sound like during the movie, you don't know whether he has an addiction problem, but you know the whole time that he's addicted to alcohol/cocaine/who knows what else. BUT the main thing that gets you about the movie is the ethical dilemma. The whole idea behind the plot is that Denzel's character is a pilot, and his plane crashes; he was drunk/high during the flight, but he was able to land the plane so that only 6 people died. Through tests, no one else could land the plane like he did, so he saved a lot of lives. So what do you do? Does he go to jail, since he was flying under the influence? Or do you call him a hero? What do you think? Watch it and let me know!

Christmas Movie 5: Jack Frost

 image from

Jack Frost is not one of my regular go-to Christmas movies, but it's on Netflix Watch Instantly, and I love Michael Keaton (like in Multiplicity, not in Batman). There are just so many cute things to love about this movie. First of all, the flirtation between Keaton's character and Gabby (played by Kelly Preston) is SO adorable! They seem like a cute movie couple. Plus, the son in the movie (played by Joseph Cross) plays hockey; enough said. And the mean kids in the movie bring back memories of the Disney movie Johnny Tsunami. This family movie is all about second chances, and it tugs at your heart strings throughout. It's just so easy to like!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ska Music

I had never heard of ska music until this weekend. I went to a concert at the 9:30 Club to see Kill Lincoln, Big D and the Kids Table, and The Pietasters, and that one experience taught me a lot about ska!

The first two bands are more "ska punk," with some screaming (a la death metal) and head banging (the people in the mosh pit were loving it!). The Pietasters were more classic ska (as I understood it, at least compared to these other bands). Essentially, ska is similar to reggae music but with a little bit of big band or R&B sounds (since there are brass instruments in the bands, like trombones and saxophones).

While listening to the music, it definitely brought back memories of movies like 10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless, and Never Been Kissed. I also thought of No Doubt's early stuff, like their song "Spiderwebs" (but they aren't known for ska).

So what do you think of ska music?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Move Review: Barbarella

I remember a friend mentioning the movie Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy to me a while back, and when I saw it was on Netflix Watch Instantly, I thought I'd check it out.

I realize that this a cult film, but...I just don't get it. Why is it so popular? It was made in the late 1960's, and the only draw I could find from it was that most of the women, especially Jane Fonda (who plays Barbarella), wear scantily clad outfits the entire time. See below (all photos were found through Google Images).

I mean, really? Talk about objectifying women and their bodies! Barbarella is supposed to be this rather powerful woman (She's a highly trained astronaut of sorts who is given the mission to go to this random planet to find Dr. Durand Durand by herself. That's a big responsibility!), but she's really just a slut who sleeps with random men to get her way (like the song goes, "Earth Girls Are Easy").

I know you're not watching it for the acting or the special effects...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Movie 4: Home Alone

Photo from

Home Alone definitely is one of my top picks for Christmas movies. It is just so much fun! Macaulay Culkin was so cute as a little kid (not sure what happened...), and he does a great job in this film. He's left all alone for Christmas (his family accidentally leaves him at home when they go off to France), and he becomes the "man of the house." In some way he acts like a kid left to his own devices (eating ice cream sundaes whenever he wants, sledding down the stairs in his house), but in other ways he grows up and thinks of the household (cuts down a Christmas tree, buys groceries). My favorite scenes are when he uses a scene from the movie "Angels with Filthy Souls" (a spoof movie itself) to get what he wants (order pizza, scare burglars). Such a fun film, and I will never be too old to watch it!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Panic! at the Disco concert

Last weekend I went to see Panic! at the Disco at Rams Head Live in Baltimore. It's not that I'm a huge Panic! fan; I know one song ("I Write Sins Not Tragedies"). But since I rarely recognize the names of bands when they come into town, I wanted to get tickets to a familiar group (plus, $25 per ticket is a good deal; granted, that's without the exorbitant fees).

The first opener was The Colourist. The name sounded kind of familiar, but not really. While I was not impressed by their outfits (the male guitarists wore floral blouses), the music (i.e. the important part) was amazing! I was super-impressed. Plus, when was the last time you saw a drummer who sings (besides Phil Collins)? AND when was the last time you saw a female percussionist who was NOT in an all-girl band? She (Maya Tuttle) was definitely my favorite part of the whole night!

You can't really see Maya through her long brown hair, but she's there!


Next was Hellogoodbye. I really liked their songs "Here" and "Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn" in high school, so I was excited to see them live. But, they were REALLY late (I don't care if you hit snow or traffic or whatever. I'd rather you cancel and I get some money back then wait around for you to get here). Once they were on stage, they took FOREVER to get their s**t together, tuning their guitars, setting up the drums just right, etc. So by the time they started performing, I was already unimpressed. On the keyboard to the very far left in the pictures was Michael Garzon, who was throwing things on stage at other band members and generally acting mischievous all night. The other keyboardist, Augustine Rampolla, reminded me of Prince Harry: he's the younger brother who's never going to be king, so he can act like a complete fool and get away with it. The lead singer, Forrest Kline, danced like an epileptic and made some scathing remarks about Panic! having all the money in the world (Hellogoodbye, you're pretty famous, and therefore rich, yourselves). And the drummer, Andy Reitz, looked completely out of place with the rest of the group, like the high school football star trying to become friends with the emo kids. The only good thing about the visual performance was the cute guitarist, Andrew Richards. The music was good, but their tardiness and the fact that they didn't seem to take the performance seriously left a bad taste in my mouth.

And then it was time for the main act. Panic! also took a VERY long time to finally make it on stage, which is simply rude. It was hard to enjoy their show because of all the annoying high school students surrounding us (which is not the band's fault). I had 16-year-old girls telling me to move away from them because our shoulders were touching (Um, you realize you're at a concert, right?), or pushing my friend to try to get closer to the stage when THERE WAS NOWHERE TO GO. So I really couldn't enjoy myself at this point. It was a huge turn-off when Panic!'s lead singer, Brendon Urie, came on stage with a bottle of wine and promoted smoking pot; clearly he doesn't care about being a terrible role model (or having a terrible haircut. Why on earth would you want to look like a funky chicken as you're dancing around on stage?!).

So, having to deal with the late shows and the pushy teenagers, here are my final points:

1. Rams Head: Only do 21+ shows. If you think a band will only attract a younger demographic, guess what? Don't book that band! I had such a bad experience with this crowd that I'm not sure I'll come back to your venue.

2. Hellogoodbye and Panic!: You were NOT worth the money. Although I was never a hardcore fan, I don't think I'll be listening to your music anymore.

3. The Colourist: I want a CD! Thank you for the great show!

Note: Thanks to Alexandra Grant for the photos!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas movie 3: The Family Man

 Photo from

The Family Man is another one of my faves. It's all about a glimpse of what life could have been like (much like It's a Wonderful Life). Nicholas Cage plays Jack Campbell, a wealthy businessman who is given the chance to see how different life would have been if he had married his college sweetheart (played by Téa Leone). He goes from being a hot NYC bachelor with a Ferrari and HUGE walk-in closet to becoming a father of two who lives in New Jersey and works as a tire salesman for his father-in-law. At first he absolutely hates the change and can't believe how much he sacrificed ("I could have been a thousand times the man..."). But in the end he realizes how much he's missed out on, and does become "the family man." It's a very sweet story with lots of jokes. It's also very quotable, which I love; I can anticipate every other line during the entire film! Definitely a fun family movie!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review: Celine Dion's CD "Loved Me Back to Life"

So, I just bought Céline Dion's new CD, "Loved Me Back to Life." I had never heard any of the songs on the album, but I LOVE her CDs "The Colour of My Love" and "Unison," and of course the song "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic, so I assumed I would like this CD. Not the case.

Her sound has changed SO much that I don't even recognize her. In fact, she doesn't really sound like herself on any of the tracks. It's like she's imitating other artists! She sounds sort of like Katy Perry in "Loved Me Back to Life." She has an R&B sound like Alicia Keys in "Water and a Flame" and "Didn't Know Love," which sounds very fake and unnatural. "Breakaway" sounds like the newer music Rihanna has been releasing. And Dion attempts to channel Taylor Swift in "At Seventeen," but clearly does not have the heart-felt sentiments of being a teenager like Swift does (Dion never had the chance to be a normal teenager. She was thrust into stardom by the time she was 12 years old). And she definitely sounds like someone else in "Save Your Soul," but I can't put my finger on it. Who do you think she sounds like on track #6?

She does two different duets on this CD, one with Ne-Yo and the other with Stevie Wonder. This CD showed me how much Ne-Yo sounds like Stevie Wonder, so Dion isn't the only imitator here. I found the choice of male singers odd. Josh Groban would make sense. But these guys? I need someone to clarify the connection for me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Ne-Yo's music. But I also think of him as yet another male singer who just sings about sex (like his song "Mirror." I mean, really?). NOT classy.

The only sincere song on the entire album is "Always Be Your Girl," which is a song to/about her son. It's almost as touching as "A New Day Has Come," an earlier song about the experience of finally having the child she always wanted. Any of the other songs not mentioned here were just "meh." They were okay, but when you're Céline f***ing Dion, they should all be awesome!

All I wanted was a CD full of her traditional power ballads, and that is NOT what I got. Now I know why, only after a month of the CD's release, Barnes and Noble is selling it for $7.99. Too bad I bought it in California, where I had to pay 9% sales tax.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tour of Lincoln's Cottage

Living Social had a deal for a tour of Lincoln's Cottage, so a couple of girlfriends and I went this past weekend. This cottage is similar to Camp David in that it was a retreat from the Capital for the President (Lincoln as well as some other presidents). This was where President Lincoln and his family could get some peace and quiet. However, it should be noted that while Lincoln came here to "get away from it all," he was constantly reminded of the Civil War even here, since he could see the first national cemetery from the window of his cottage (and therefore see the number of graves increase over time). The cottage is mostly empty, which our tour guide explained was because we should think about the ideas of Lincoln, not his personal items. The tour was a great history lesson, and there are also exhibits in the visitors center where you can learn even more (like the fact that Lincoln's goal of the Civil War was the keep the Union in tact, not to end slavery like most people assume). The juxtaposition of old (the cottage) and new (flat screens and projectors) was quite an interesting way to learn!

There is a statue of Abe and his horse in front of the cottage, representing the ride that President Lincoln took every day into Washington and then back to the cottage at night. I was very tempted to put my foot in the stirrup and actually get on top of the horse, but I'm pretty sure that's not allowed...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Malibu Wines

While in California, we checked out a winery called Malibu Wines. It is located in a beautiful area, with mountains and desert surrounding the vineyard. We went on a Monday, which means we practically had the whole place to ourselves (who else gets to take off work to enjoy some wine at 11 o'clock in the morning?). There were picnic tables, stools made from barrels, and Adirondack chairs scattered throughout the area, with little twinkly lights crisscrossing over our heads. We were given our flights of wine ($12 each, not bad) by a very cute guy, and we enjoyed our beverages just lounging in the sun. The whites were my favorite, and we even bought a bottle of the Saddlerock Chardonnay. But beware of the Saddlerock Zinfandel: I disliked it very much. I thought it tasted like hookah, and when I learned that tobacco was one of the ingredients for flavoring the wine, I was very proud of myself that I picked up on that all on my own! After deciding on the white wine, we ate our picnic lunches and listened to the country music playing throughout the place (great radio station, whatever it was!). They do have live music, but only on the weekends. Our cute "bar tender" (if you will) told us that they can easily have 600 people on a Saturday night there! We liked having the quiet time, but if I were to come back, it could be a lot of fun to experience the night life there! I definitely recommend this winery!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thanksgiving in California

This was the first time I have celebrated Thanksgiving without any "elders" from my family (i.e. parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles). I visited my sister in southern California, and we met up with one of my college friends, her sister, and another friend for an all-girls, super-fun Thanksgiving.

Since most (if not all) of us had no experience making a Thanksgiving dinner, I thought we did a pretty good job. Check out this spread!

We had tea and biscuits before dinner, and we each had our own cute place-setting. And unbeknownst to us, each of us had a beautiful necklace hiding under our tea cups!
My sister made a turkey breast, stuffing, and both apple and pumpkin pie (I helped carry it...). Our friend Erin made a delightful sweet potato mixture, and our hostess made salads (with such presentation!), and had done the tea and biscuits beforehand. The table was beautiful!

Why do I feel like this post looks like a Pinterest page?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Say it to my face

No one likes to be talked about behind his/her back. But what's worse than that is FINDING OUT that someone is talking about your back, AND finding out what exactly it is they said.

For one, it's never a good thing. No one ever talks behind your back saying, "OMG, she is so pretty!" or "I thought she did a great job on that project." No, it's always, "Wow, is it just me or has she gotten fat?" or "Well, she could have done a much better job on that..." It's disappointing that our culture is so obsessed with comparing ourselves to others and we continue the teenage behavior of putting others down to feel better about ourselves. These are the actions of insecure people. Happy, confident people don't go around bad-mouthing their friends/family/coworkers/etc. So it's sad that so many people are that unhappy that they want to make others unhappy, too.

For me, I'd rather you just come to me if you have an issue. If you think I was mean to you, tell me that I hurt your feelings, don't tell your friend to tell me that I hurt your feelings. I'm not promising I'm going to care about your feelings (I probably won't), but grow up and just tell me instead of playing telephone. And if you tell someone older than me that you have a problem with me, like my mom or my supervisor, it just makes me feel like a child getting reprimanded, rather than an adult taking constructive criticism. Man up, grow some balls, and deal with conflict face-to-face so I can take it like a man (I wish I had some feminine equivalents to these idioms, but I don't).

*Read this article in Bethesda Magazine about unhappiness, especially in those people who seem to "have it all."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas movie, 2: Last Holiday

I will say, Last Holiday is not one of my "usual" Christmas movies, but since my sister owned it, I figured I'd watch it. This is a very sweet story of a woman (Queen Latifah) who, when she finds out she only have three weeks to live, starts living life to the fullest. She quits her retail job, goes away to a European ski resort, and spends her money on gambling, spa treatments, great food and clothes, and in the meantime touches the lives of the people she meets with her down-to-earth attitude. Queen Latifah has never played a character I didn't like: I swear she really is all of the women she plays in movies. And don't worry: the movie does have a happy ending!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas movie, 1: The Holiday

One of my favorite holiday traditions is to watch Christmas movies. There are so many good ones to choose from, so I thought I'd give you reviews of some of my favorites.

photo from

The Holiday is definitely one of my top picks. First of all, it has a great cast! You can't go wrong with bubbly Cameron Diaz, beautiful Kate Winslet, handsome Jude Law, and funny-man Jack Black. PLUS you have Eli Wallach, who plays a lovable old man famous in Hollywood (which is probably who he is in real life...). This romantic comedy is super-fun because you have not one but two love stories to follow; they aren't ridiculously silly or completely far-fetched tales of love, but funny coincidences that you think could easily happen to you if you simply took off for Christmas to a different country. You can relate to all of the characters because they seem so real and down-to-earth; you want to be friends (or lovers) with all of them! It's such a happy movie, and that is why I can watch it every Christmas and not get bored of it. You have to watch it!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Magic Castle

When I was making plans to go to California for the Thanksgiving holiday, my friend who lives in L.A. really wanted to take us all to the Magic Castle in Hollywood, a pretty fancy place where you watch different magicians all night. I was skeptical at first (sometimes I think magic can be kind of corny, unless you're Criss Angel of course), but I was up for the adventure.

The castle itself is beautiful, and this is their 50th year in business! When you get inside, the atmosphere is amazing, with burgundy walls and low lighting, and the rooms are decorated throughout with old books, mirrors, portraits of magicians, and Magic Castle posters from the past. And the guests themselves looked great (there is a strict dress code), with ties and gowns and jewelry everywhere. We were lookin' pretty good ourselves!

We made our way to the Hat and Hare Pub downstairs to start. We were the only ones watching this man who called himself "Fitzgerald." He did a couple of card tricks, but he wasn't much of a showman, so we moved on quickly. Next, we saw Jon Armstrong, who already had a crowd with him when we arrived. He did card tricks, memorizing the order of the cards in the deck or dividing the deck into red and black suits after shuffling them. He also did several tricks with his "tiny plunger," a miniature plunger that could pick up the deck of cards; he made some members of the audience hold it, talk to it, or even have it plastered onto their foreheads (particularly a sweaty man named Ted). Random note, there were four Nicholes/Nikkis in that room, and we brought one of them! Anyway, then it was time for dinner (I'll talk about that later), and onto the main show in the "Palace of Mystery" (i.e. the big room). We saw David Kovac (the MC who looked like a handsomer version of Mr. Bean), who told jokes as well as did magic; we all agreed that his best trick was cutting open a lemon and finding a signed dollar bill from a member of the audience. Then there was Michael Rayner, who balanced shoes on his nose and spun a cheeseburger on top of a spinning umbrella, and had to do so with several VERY annoying members of the audience (it still amazes me how many adults don't know their limits and are perfectly content to make complete fools of themselves in public). Lastly we saw Arthur Trace, who said nothing but rather made magic art to the sound of music; his was the easiest magic to figure out: behind his easel were definitely some hidden levers/etc. After the main act, we knew there would be a rush to the valet, so we thought we'd stick around for one more show. The last act we saw was Ran'D Shine, and he was very good! He pulled eggs out of thin air, made coins disappear, and somehow got a $20 bill that someone had signed into a sealed cookie package! He brought up audience volunteers, and they actually helped make the show so great! He called upon a man in the front row who was very skeptical of magic and turned him into a believer. Taleen, a women in her late 20's (and quite drunk) was next, and whenever he asked her a question, she would give him two answers. "Do you know how I did that trick?" "Yes!" "You do?" "Um...I don't know..." or "Is the card in your hand black?" "Yes!" "It is?" "Oh, I mean no!" She was so silly that you almost wanted him to keep her on stage the whole time. He was our favorite act, so we're so happy we stuck around! The magicians were very talented, and I'm glad to see a venue like this just for magicians and fans of magic.

My only complaint about the Magic Castle would be that they require everyone to order an entrée in their restaurant (i.e. nothing under $28 per person) to see the main magic show. You only have to pay $25 at the door to get in, so let's do the math for the minimum a person would pay. You pay $25 and the door, don't get any drinks, and  pay $30 for dinner (you get the cheapest entrée, but then there's tax); that totals $55. I think from what I've described here, they're really low-balling themselves at $25 to get in. I would easily pay $50 just for the experience: the atmosphere, the magic shows, the idea that I probably won't have that chance to do this again, etc. So let's say they now charge $50 at the door, and you can choose whether you want dinner/drinks or not. If someone doesn't eat or drink anything, then yes, the Magic Castle has lost $5. But let's be honest: most people are going to get at least one drink (all of which cost more than $5), and I think a lot of people would want to try the restaurant. Even if someone only orders an appetizer for $8, the Magic Castle has still made $3 more than they would have originally. The food was good, but not incredible, so I felt silly paying over $30 for food that wasn't amazingly delicious. PLUS, if we could have just ordered what we wanted, no food would have gone to waste. We were a group of four petite girls, and none of us were able to finish our gargantuan entrées. It's such a waste: there are millions of people starving around the world, and here we were tossing out half of our salmon filets and lobster tails because we had to order entrées. The kitchen would save money if it didn't have to buy all of this fish and filet mignon that people don't even eat. In the end, I would much rather pay more at the door for this once-in-a-lifetime experience than pay extra on average-tasting food (with no presentation, might I add) that's just going to end up in the trash.  

Final thought: I had a lot of fun that night, but the Magic Castle needs to rethink their revenue plan, big time.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Joffrey Ballet's "The Nutcracker"

The night before Thanksgiving, I made my way to the Kennedy Center to see a performance of The Nutcracker. I saw it last year (performed by Ballet West), and I was very excited to continue my holiday tradition. The one downside to seeing this ballet is that it is frequently marketed to families, so there are always many children in the audience. And that night, one of them just happened to be sitting next to me. She was sitting on her father's lap, wriggling all over the place trying to get comfortable. While waiting for the show to start, she kept asking when it would begin, then started counting the seconds incessantly. To amuse herself, she played the game of "What's this?" with her father, pointing to different body parts: nose, lower lip, upper lip, etc. She also kept pulling at his tie, and even flat out told him it was ugly. Towards the end of the performance she started tapping her feet making a ruckus because she was becoming antsy. That man has the patience of a god. But onto the actual ballet...

Although I had never seen the Joffrey Ballet perform, their name is famous enough to expect greatness. They were the first dance company to perform at the White House, the first American company to dance in Russia, and the first dance company to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. Of course it isn't very fair to compare dance companies: each is made up of many unique artists with their own creative talents. But, I will say, I preferred last year's performance of this beloved Tchaikovsky ballet.

First of all, this one opened up with a hand-painted screen of the Christmas tree scene, with toys all around the tree and the nutcracker himself front and center. Although I can appreciate the work that it took to create this screen, the colors came out muted, and it looked crafty rather than artistic. The rest of the set was beautiful, giving the impression of a huge room with tall ceilings and a chandelier hanging right in the middle. Why not open right off with that? The Christmas tree was also kind of sad, since it was only two-dimensional (not like a real tree at all!). Although it did grow taller, it looked very unstable, and I thought at any moment it was going to tip over onto the dancers.

But onto the dancers themselves. The first thing I noticed about the company when looking through the program is how diverse the group is. In general, I think most people see ballet as a "white" activity, and I think all in all, that's still true. But there were dancers of all ethnicities and nationalities in this performance. However, I will say that the Joffrey Ballet took diversity a little too far when they included a child in a wheelchair at the Christmas tree party. Putting a child that is physically handicapped in a ballet is like throwing him into a swimming pool: that activity is all about the freedom of movement, which he does not possess. All I could figure is that he was the child of a major donor or something, and that's why he had to be included. I was also surprised that, with such a focus on people of all different kinds, they featured an African American woman as a maid and an Asian-American man as a servant: it's like they were pigeon-holing these traditionally-oppressed peoples back into subservient roles. They also featured a rocking horse wearing a Native American headdress, which seemed unnecessary. Mixed messages, no?

Now on to my comparison with Ballet West. For one, I didn't really care for the costumes in this Joffrey production. The gowns of the ladies during the first scene were fine, but I really liked how Ballet West matched the costumes of the men, women, and children; every family was color-coded in matching clothes, which I thought was really cute. When the nutcracker comes to life, I thought his mask was creepy, and the rat costumes were just thin gray outfits, unlike the adorable rolly-polly rodents of Ballet West. The death of the Rat King was also not as good as last year. I didn't even see him die: he was just carried offstage. Last year, the dancer who played the Rat King was very funny, laying on his back with all four limbs in the air with rigor mortis. I did, however, like how in this ballet, Clara's parents (played by Fabrice Calmels and Kara Zimmerman) were also featured as the Snow King and Queen. It makes sense that in a little girl's dream, she would picture people she knows, like her parents. And this rat army featured cavalry, so that was quite cute seeing rats riding upon pony-rats. But I found it odd that, in this show, there was a curtain call after the first act, as if the ballet were over. The only reason I could think of for doing this would be to let little kids think they had seen the whole show so the families could get home early.

Throughout the performance, I felt that the male dancers were much stronger than the ballerinas, which seems unheard of. The Snow Prince (John Mark Gitagosian) completely stole the show from the Snow King and Queen, and along with the Snowflakes (ballerinas) there were "Snow Winds" which I've never heard of, but that was one more way for the company to feature more men in the performance. And at the end, when the Nutcracker Prince (Dylan Gutierrez) had his solo, he was incredible, barely making a sound when he landed after jumps and such; the music was off-beat when he finished, but I blame the orchestra, not him.

More on the second act. The ballerina who played the Sugar Plum Fairy, April Daly, who looks a lot like Mira Sorvino, has the epitomic body of a dancer. But though her mouth was smiling during her performance, her forehead made her look like she was in pain (which maybe she was). She was quite good, but again, the Nutcracker Prince certainly upstaged her. I did not care for the "Waltz of the Flowers" (the equivalent of the Snowflakes but for the Sugar Plum Fairy). The costumes were more like dresses than actual tutus, and I didn't think they were important enough to call out by name in the program; there were also Cavaliers, again another chance for the male dancers to be a part of the production, who wore colorful tights that simply do not show off the male figure like white tights do. The "Divertissements" were hit or miss, too. First of all, I didn't like that all of the dancers came out on stage all at once before their individual dances. It took away from the surprise of seeing what each costume will look like. But, I thought using a fan while dancing was a nice touch for the Chocolate from Spain, and I usually don't like the use of props in dance. The Coffee from Arabia was BY FAR the best performance out of the entire show. This company made the dance a "duet" if you will, with Mahallia Ward and Calmels dancing together. The dance was extremely sexy and sensual, and both of their perfect bodies made the scene almost erotic. I was very disappointed to flip through the program and see that Ward would not dance as the Snow Queen or the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Tea from China dance was forgettable, and the Nougats from Russia were not nearly as good as Ballet West's performance; this is the only dance that is usually all male, and this time they added a woman, which I thought took away from the performance. The Marzipan Shepherdesses looked like they were missing their lambs (which would have been a cute touch, actually). And I was appalled that Mother Ginger was not played by a man, but rather a large puppet (the puppet was controlled by Francis Kane, who isn't even listed in the program). The only good thing about her part were the adorable Easter-egg-colored costumes that the children wore when emerging from her voluminous dress. The second act was far better than the first, but I wasn't completely in love.

It's not all their fault, though, that I was underwhelmed. Although I enjoy the music of The Nutcracker, and I like traditional ballet/dance, the story itself is not actually one of my favorites. For one, I do not like some of the characters of the ballet, so it is difficult for me to like the dancers who play them. The character of Dr. Drosselmeyer, the Godfather of the main children, Clara and Fritz, always confuses me: sometimes he's old, sometimes he's young, but no matter what, he looks like Kevin Kline playing a creepy pedophile. And Clara annoys me as well. Is she supposed to be a child or a young woman? She's always played by one of the main dancers (not a child dancer), but I do think she's supposed to be a little girl. So then when the Nutcracker prince shows up, he looks like a pedophile, too! I think I just have a hard time with the juxtaposition of ballet and children. To me, ballet is very sexy: it includes people with incredible bodies who are wearing next-to-nothing and touching each other quite intimately. When you add children to that, it just makes it seem dirty and takes away from the glamor of the entire idea of ballet. This particular performance featured WAY too many children. Kids should be in the opening scene, and come out from Mother Ginger's skirt, and that's it. But they played the rolls of dolls throughout the performance, popping up everywhere when I wish they had just gone back stage and taken a nap.

If you thought this review is mean, read what I wrote about Ballets with a Twist. No, I'm not a dancer: I just know what I like (or don't like...)!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Rant

It seems like I am the only person who is not 100% gung-ho about Thanksgiving. It's not that I think it's a bad idea. I really like the sentiment of dedicating a day to giving thanks for all of your blessings: friends, family, health, etc.

But just as Christmas has become all about presents and Santa instead of Jesus Christ, Thanksgiving has transformed, too. It makes sense that Thanksgiving is an American holiday: it is the epitome of the stereotype of the US. We spend the day watching (American) football, napping, and eating. And eating. And eating. It's an obesity holiday! You can show you are thankful for everything you have in your life without force-feeding yourself a humungous dinner at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Americans are already fat gluttons: do we need a day to celebrate it?

I say my prayers every night and thank God for everything He has done for me, my family, and others around the world. I don't need a day to give thanks. I do it EVERY day. And so should you. Besides, God can hear you better when you aren't giving thanks with your mouth full.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Importance of Friends

I saw this Amish proverb on Beliefnet: “The time to make friends is before you need them.”

I have always been the type of person who prefers to have a couple of really good friends rather than have lots of acquaintances. In college, I certainly became a more social person, especially after joining a sorority, but I still always had a few close friends. I was so thankful for those relationships when I was going through my post-breakup-college-no-job phase; they were so supportive and always there for me. I was so glad that I could count on them, and I know they're still there for me now. I've made many new friends since moving to DC, and my social circle seems to be growing by the minute (mainly with other young women new to the city). Perhaps some of them will become new besties; hopefully I can be someone they can count on, too. I count all of my friendships as wonderful blessings, and since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I just wanted to make a shout-out to all of my friends, both old and new!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Movie Review: Haute Cuisine


I generally enjoy independent/foreign films, so when I didn't see Haute Cuisine at the local independent movie theater, I was excited that I could watch it Netflix. The premise of the movie (based on a true story) is that this woman, known for being an excellent cook, is hired to be the personal chef of the French prime minister. While the P.M. loves her home-style cooking, there is drama between her small kitchen and the main kitchen that serves everyone else. The movie actually starts with showing her in Antarctica; everything in France is a flashback. So you learn that after all of the drama in France, she leaves and becomes the cook at a research base in Antarctica. Although I enjoyed the movie, there really wasn't much action: nothing really happened. Inside you hoped that she was having an affair with the P.M. or something like that, but it never really got that exciting. So I give it three stars: it wasn't bad, but it wasn't amazing either.

PS: It is in French, so you will need to read subtitles, FYI.

Monday, November 25, 2013

American Voices at the Kennedy Center

This weekend, I went to see "American Voices" at the Kennedy Center. I usually go there for more classical performances, like the National Symphony Orchestra or the ballet, but this was something more modern. I was mainly interested to see Josh Groban and Alison Krauss, but I was open to seeing the other performers as well. Here is a list of everyone and my thoughts (in no particular order).*

Alison Krauss:She sang "Ghost in this House," which I had never heard before. It was a very moving song, and I really liked it. I was sorry though that she didn't sing "When You Say Nothing at All" which is my favorite song of hers. And I'm not sure why she was wearing a black trench coat on stage: she looked like she had stepped out of The Matrix

Josh Groban: Same comments for him. His rendition of "Smile" was good, but I really like his most famous song, "You Raise Me Up." I also would have enjoyed it if he had sung something in Italian. At the end of the show, all of the singers got together to sing a song, and Groban barely participated. I know you're cool and famous, Josh, but if everyone else is going to sing in a group, you should, too.

Renée Fleming: She is a big name in opera, and she was actually the hostess for the night. I thought she was a great MC: very funny, well spoken, good all around. At one point she was wearing a silly gold cape; I'm not sure who her stylist is, but he/she should be fired, both for that and the pant suit she wore at the end. But I was there for the music, not the clothes, and she does have a beautiful voice.

Kim Burrell: Her specialty is gospel music (she's a pastor!), and I thought she did an amazing job. She actually had the chance to sing twice (most of the artists only sang once), and I was happy I got to enjoy her voice for a longer amount of time. Again, a comment on the clothes: her first outfit enhanced her already large bosom; her second one look like a bedazzled Snuggie (although it was more conservative, which I liked). Anyhoo...All in all my feelings were very positive about her. I'd love to hear her sing Christmas carols!

Sara Bareilles: You may recognize her as a judge from The Sing-off TV show, and her most famous hits are "Love Song" and "King of Anything." She sang Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brook Road" which was fine, but a crowd pleaser would have been one of her own songs. She was dressed as a school girl, with her precious white sweater with a little collar poking out of it and an A-line skirt. She also sang a duet with Ben Folds (see below).

Ben Folds: He also was on The Sing-off , and perhaps that's why he got the chance to sing with Sara Bareilles. Anyway, he's a big name in the music industry, but I think it's more for the business side than the Hollywood side of stardom. He's an average looking guy who always wears these silly sneakers, and I personally think he's better at playing the piano than singing. He engaged with the audience, asking us to harmonize with the song, which was fun. But then he started teasing us, asking us to do harder and faster harmonies, at which point I just started giggling because I got so confused.

Sutton Foster: She is a Broadway actress (and has been on a few TV shows, too). She sang "Anything Goes" which is fine within the musical, but when pulled out of context, it seemed very out-of-place compared to the ballads we heard throughout the rest of the night.

Norm Lewis: He performed a song from "Ragtime" which didn't surprise me at all since that play is about African Americans; the song choice was so obvious it was cliché. He has a very nice voice, but I would have preferred to have heard something more unexpected.

Dianne Reeves: She has a very powerful voice, and I really enjoyed listening to her sing "When You Know," quite a romantic song. Her sparkly red top was very appropriate for the occasion. She had great energy! She also tried to get us to sing along, but most of us were unenthusiastic. We just weren't prepared to sing ourselves in the Kennedy Center!

Eric Owens: He is an opera singer, but while he has a very large voice, I couldn't understand most of the words he was singing. And, no, it's not because he was singing in a different language. He didn't enunciate his words, so it made it difficult for the audience to understand him.

Kurt Elling: He actually was unable to perform that night because he got sick. In his place were two music students, and I was quite impressed! The girl played the bass (my favorite instrument), and the young man sang "All of Me," which I associate with the movie "All of Me" from the 1980's.

*This note is a disclaimer that I am not an expert in any musical genre, and my only real interest in music is singing along to country music when I'm driving in my car. Obviously I don't know much about music because I was just as interested in their clothing as I was in their songs. So, take this post with a grain of salt, and I recommend that you listen to all of these performers and make your own judgements yourself.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Why I'm dating an older man

Recently I've been seeing a gentleman who is much older than I am. I'm not talking geriatric old (I'm no Anna Nichole Smith), but he is about my parents' age. But I have good reason for doing this. Lots of reasons.

1. He doesn't consider playing Call of Duty for a couple of hours a date. He doesn't own an Xbox or a Play Station console. He doesn't play video games at all, actually.

2. He doesn't talk like Borat, saying things like, "Very nice!" in that silly accent.

3. He knows his limits and doesn't have the "I need to be drunk to have a good time" attitude.

4. He doesn't pretend to know about things to seem "cool." I heard some boys (yes, they are still boys at my age) chatting, saying they wished they had gone to the Kanye West concert to listen to him "lay down some beats." white boys don't know what you're talking about.

5. He would never wear plaid shorts slung low on his waist while riding a skateboard (or while doing any other activity for that matter).

6. He enjoys going to see the symphony and appreciates classical music and simply the act of culturing oneself.

7. He has manners. He shows up for our dates on time, he gets the car door for me, he pays for dinner (unless I've specifically said I'm taking him out). Finding a younger guy who can even get the first part right is a stretch.

8. He doesn't play with his cell phone when he's with me. I don't even know what type of phone he has. I've never seen it.

9. He lets me know he likes me in a polite way. Young guys tend to play games, trying to be aloof and act like they don't like you. Or they're the exact opposite and clingy as hell. This man strikes a balance. He lets me know he's thinking about me with a text saying hi, or an email with an article he thinks I'll like. But he doesn't follow up his message with another one a couple of hours later saying, "Did you get my message?" And he doesn't use dirty talk to give me a clue that he's into me. If I had a nickel for every time a young guy said something disgustingly sexual as a come-on, I'd be a billionaire by now.

Need I go on?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Moonlit Monuments Hike

Last weekend I went on a moonlit hike around the monuments in DC. I think the last time I visited the monuments was on a school field trip, and even then I'm not sure if I actually remember the trip or I just assume I went to DC at some point on a field trip because I went to school in Maryland. Anyway, here are a couple of photos from our walk. I apologize that some of them are fuzzy: the lighting just wasn't very good!

We started at the Washington Monument. From there you could see the top of the Capital.

Then we moved on to the World War II Memorial, which has pillars all around the perimeter of this beautiful fountain representing the states (and DC).

Here is the Washington Monument from the WWII Memorial. There is still a lot of construction going on with the Washington Monument from the 2011 earthquake.

Next was the Lincoln Memorial (you know, that thing on the back of every penny). It looked spectacular in the dark!

Inside is the statue of Abe himself. He looks good as new after some crazy woman tossed green paint all over him earlier this year.

Then we saw the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which is quite new. You walk through this large stone (actually cubes of stone all put together; the rock came from China), which represents his quote, "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope."

His statue is HUGE! Around the memorial are more quotes from King; very moving!

Then we walked to the FDR Memorial, which I didn't even know existed! This one is very large with several different areas. It's like a maze walking through there!

This part of the memorial is really interesting. There are impressions of faces, hands, people, etc. along with braille. The community of people with disabilities really relate to FDR, hence this section.

There were several waterfalls throughout this memorial. And I'm not sure if it was jasmine or gardenia, but there was a LOVELY floral smell throughout the memorial! Mmm!

Here is FDR with his little dog!

Last but not least was the Jefferson Memorial. I actually took this photo from the MLK statue.

And I feel silly admitting this, but I didn't know there was an actual statue inside of this memorial! He's so tall that no one can reach up to wipe the cobwebs off of his face! This memorial has special meaning to me because it's where my dad proposed to my mom!

I know at some point we did see the Korean War Veterans Memorial, but because it was so dark out, none of my photos came out. But that one is really amazing! There are 19 statues representing soldiers, and then on the wall behind them are engravings created from real photographs of real veterans.

I recommend checking them all out! They each are unique and have something different to offer!